Bluestem and James Beard

bs5My favorite course of the five I had at Bluestem, in Kansas City: Torchon of foie gras, Missouri strawberries, rhubarb, anise-hyssp, nitro root beer, brioche. It was paired with a glass of Sauternes, a sweet French wine. 

The dinner we had last month at Bluestem was fantastic. It’s the latest restaurant whose chef has taken home a coveted James Beard Award for the best chef in the Midwest. Colby Garrelts deserves it — he’s been nominated seven times and his restaurant is great. (I can’t wait to try his newest place, Rye, on my next KC trip.)

I was dining at Bluestem with a purpose — to find out just how much better a James Beard award-winning restaurant is than the ones in Omaha who have semi-finalist chefs. The answer is that it is better, especially when it comes to the details. But it’s not a simple answer, either. I saw glimpses at Bluestem of things I’ve seen at all the Omaha restaurants who have been on the Beard shortlist. That’s so exciting.

Read my story, and let me know what you think. Who will be the first Omaha chef to win the Beard award?

Ribbet collage

Top to bottom: pan roasted American red snapper, local morel mushrooms, fresh pickled peas, spaetzle; cheese plate; warm spring pea soup, clabbered cream, mint espuma, lemon ash, pink peppercorns; hangar of Kansas Angus beef, fermented grains, whipped bone marrow, Thane’s spinach.

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